Part One - Holiday / Season Preparation
There are few things more annoying than waiting all year for a precious week on the slopes than your legs turning to shakey mush at the end of the second day! Not only does this spoil your enjoyment of your sacred time away but if you dont listen to your body, and try and push through this fatigue, accidents are more liley to occur and injurines become a real possibility
So how do we fix this?
Well to start with I look to strengthen my legs before the holiday - usually a couple of months before if I have enough notice (we are a fan of last minute get aways!). These poses are great for sterengthening the legs and improving balance and proprioception. I also like to adapt my poses so they are fit for purpose - on the slopes we dont need static strength, the muscles need to be able to hold a position by making small movements to absorb shock and navigate differnet terrain. Our legs need to act like shock absorbers and we need to focus on building this type of strength.
With the feet together bend the knees and touch the floor with the fingers, keeping the legs bent raise the arms overhead.
Lift into the lower belly and feel your tailbone connect down to your heels. Gaze up to your fingers while keeping your hands over your feet. Hold here for 5 breaths and then as you inhale let the hips lift a small way - 1 or two cm is plenty and as you exhale left them drop by the same amount and take another 5 breaths with this pulse.
From standing take the weight into the right foot and bend the right leg slightly. Lift the left off the ground crossing it over the right leg, double cross at the ankle if you can or simply leave the foor on the outside of the ankle. Take the right arm over the left and press the elbows together, bend the elbows and press the back of the hands together or double cross so the palms are together. Gaze forwards. Your right leg will be working hard to keep your balance - strengthening the ankle and calf. Stay here for 5 breaths and then change sides.
From standing take the left foot to the right inner thigh (or calf if your foot wont go that high). Bring the hands together at the heart and gaze forwards. Enjoy for 5 breaths feeling your spine lengthen with every breath. Repeat on the other side.
From standing step the right leg back keeping the hips square, making sure your left knee is directly over the ankle and the thigh is parallell with the floor. Press strongly through the right heel and left big toe joint and lift the right kneecap and thigh. Feel the ribacge lifting away from the hips and raise the arms overhead. Gaze forwards. Focus on sinking the tailbone down so your lower back is expanding and keep the belly and core strong. Hold for 5 breaths and then as you inhale let the hips lift a small way - 1 or two cm is plenty and as you exhale left them drop by the same amount and take another 5 breaths with this pulse. Repeat on both sides.
Try increasing the number of breaths you take in each pose to build strength - remember each breath should be deep and even - no panting!
I'm a water loving Yoga Teacher from Brighton.